Old vehicle, new technology. It's a combination that we tend to like a lot, because "improvement" is never a dirty word. Sometimes, it takes a lot of effort to outfit an older vehicle with nifty new stuff-swapping a Northstar V-8 into a Cherokee isn't something that can be done on a Saturday afternoon-but in some cases, modernization can be achieved with a wrench and a drill. Such was the case with the new Hanson bumpers we recently installed on this Jeep Scrambler. It took just a couple of hours and improved both the look and the function of the Jeep. Gotta love progress!
It doesn't seem that long ago that CJs were common on trails all over the nation, with later-model CJ-5s, CJ-7s, and the occasional CJ-8 being the most abundant. The ease of which the leaf-sprung solid-axle Jeep could be modified for greater off-road prowess is largely responsible for the popularity of 'wheeling today, as some of the first off-road specific aftermarket parts were originally produced for CJs. Nothing stops the march of time, however, and it's been almost a quarter-century since the last CJ rolled off the production line, to be replaced with a new Jeep with (gasp!) "square" headlights for the 1987 model year. For a while, CJs remained popular (especially off-road) but today, as we stare down the second decade of the 2000s, it seems as if many of the remaining CJs have been beaten to death or stored for posterity.
That said, CJs will never go away, and we always like to see 'em out on the trail. Almost ironically, the products available today can transform an outdated CJ into a bulletproof, well-rounded trail champ, with a handsome look to boot. Hanson has been producing trail-worthy bumpers for almost 20 years, and when we noticed that its line of CJ bumpers use some of the same forward-thinking design cues that are used in its top-of-the-line JK bumpers, we were interested.
We look for a number of things when we choose new bumpers-durability, ability to protect the vehicle while retaining as much clearance as possible, good looks, and the kind of usability that will allow us to attach a winch, tire carrier, and racks. The Hanson CJ bumpers seemed to have it all, so we installed a set (along with some extra goodies) at Orange County Transmissions in Costa Mesa, California. We were impressed-check out the photos for the details.